One of the most extraordinary museums of traditional clothing, accessories, and jewelry in Turkey is based on a private collection. The woman named Sadberk Koç dedicated her life to collecting precious Turkish antiques from the 18th-19th centuries. She managed to gather a great number of items. And after her death, her husband created the Sadberk Hanim Museum or Lady Sadberk Museum to show her collection to the Turkish people and the whole world. This collection is marvelous! Just one person owned enough valuables for the whole museum!
Ottoman jewelry collection at the Lady Sadberk Museum dazzles visitors with women's collectibles from the 18th century. Once owned by women from the royal family, the jewels were passed on to our generation by one lady with a dream.
On the shores of the majestic city of Istanbul lies the ravishing Lady Sadberk Museum. Located in the Sariyer district of Istambul, it was the Koç family's waterfront mansion once. Home to a collection of royal Ottoman treasures, the Lady Sadberk Museum was established in 1980, after Mrs. Koç passed away. Her last wishes were written in a touching final letter to her husband, well-known businessman Vehbi Koç.
Exterior of the Azeryan mansion where Sadberk Hanim Museum is situated
Interior of the Azeryan mansion where Sadberk Hanim Museum is situated
“In her will, she had said: I would love for my collection to be displayed in a museum that bears my name. She wasn’t able to ever witness the museum, however her family and Vehbi Koç made her dream come true by opening the Sadberk Hanim Museum in the Azeryan mansion”, says Idil Zambak, curator at the Lady Sadberk.
The museum reflects lady Sadberk’s deep passion for handcrafting and embroidery, along with her dream to display her collection of Ottoman adornments in a place she once cherished as home.
The museum's collection known as “Cevher” in Turkish (or “Jewel”) comprised a vast array of women's collectibles dating back from the 18th and 19th centuries. Mostly of Oil Provenance, the items on display were either collected by lady Sadberk or given to her as a gift. The objects in the jewel gallery all share a common passion for intricate delicately tailored details. A dream come true for a unique collection of items used by women, collected by women, and passed on from one generation of women to the next.
“When we look at the era in which she lived, the fact that she had a personal collection and that she was collecting antiques, especially in Turkey, is extraordinary”, adds Idil Zambak.
Vehbi and Sadberk Koç with their children
Lady Sadberk marked her name as the first Turkish woman to open up a museum featuring her personal collection of antiques. Thanks to this legacy, her name lives on.
You can see some of the beautiful showpieces of Lady Sadberk Museum below